Labinjo enjoying the ride

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Mike Labinjo would prefer to be in pads than standing on the sidelines on game day, but for the time being anyway the Toronto native is enjoying the view.

Released by the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the season, Labinjo soon landed with the Indianapolis Colts and was signed to the practice squad.

The linebacker, who played college ball at Michigan State, is getting up to speed with the Colts' system and waiting for his chance to get some playing time.

And while he's at it, he's getting an up-close view of just the fifth team in NFL history to start a season 12-0.

"It turned out to be a good thing for me, it was for the best," Labinjo said after the Colts' win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

"There were a lot of distractions there with the whole T.O. (Terrell Owens) thing."

The former high school star at St. Mike's was a part of the Eagles NFC Championship team last year after being activated late last season. He made the 53-man roster at the start of the current season as a reserve linebacker and special teams player but was released by the Eagles on Oct. 12.

Now Labinjo is hoping to get back to the Super Bowl with the AFC representative.

"It's a great bunch of guys here (with the Colts), I was really fortunate to land with this team," Labinjo said.

As with any player brought into a new system, Labinjo has had to get up to speed with the way the Colts do business.

But team president Bill Polian said this week that there is a good chance Labinjo will be activated before the season is done.

"Mike has made significant progress," Polian said. "It has been a change in defences for him and he's working hard.

"I would say it's very likely he (will play). He's one injury away from getting his chance."


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